The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Music in IKWIG

The music in IKWIG is a big help in setting the atmosphere for many of the scenes. Allan Gray was credited as the composer and he did indeed write much of it. But they also used some othyer music as detailed below.

The title song that gave the title for the film is actually an old traditional Irish song. While they were planning the film it was just known as "The Island Story". It was Powell's wife Frankie, herself of Irish descent, who suggested the use of I Know Where I'm Going.

We are still trying to find details of the Round sung at the Ceildhe. Because they're all singing at once, but singing different words - or rather the same words at different times, it's very hard to unwind it. Something about Macafee, and something in the corn?
Update: The "Macaphee" song has been identified

When Joan meets her father in Manchester, the band is playing "Beach Head Joe". It was recorded by the RAF Dance Orchestra (the Squadronnaires) for the film although it's not sure if that is the Squadronnaires that we see as Joan takes her father for a spin around the floor. There was a song recorded as well as the tune but they decided not to use that. It was actually recorded at the same time as they recorded the tunes for Blimp. Thanks to Jim Pople (2nd asst ed on ACT & IKWIG) for that.

The song sung by the drunk at the Ceildhe is "Eilean Mocaridh".

Mo Nighean Donn, Bhòidheach
(Ho-ro, my nut-brown maiden)
The song sung by the choir and translated for Joan's benefit by Torquil.

Note the way that they changed the words of Nut Brown Maiden slightly. The original says "she's the maid for me" but in the film Torquil says "You're the maid for me". Much more to the point, especially when accompanied by that piercing glance.

Fear A' Bhata
(O my boatman)
The music heard as Bridie waits anxiously on the pier (getting a few buckets of water thrown in her face) after the whirlpool scene.

Scans of sheet music by Flo McBride from "The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Highlands" edited and arranged by Alfred Moffat, published by Bayley & Ferguson, Ltd., Glasgow.

See also the article about The "Macaphee" song

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